• Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    Posts: 1389 from 2003/4/13
    I've never owned a 1541U2 either, so going on assumptions based on public info


    Jupp3 wrote:
    1541 emulation: (no experience with Chameleon, but let's assume it's as good) - Tie.

    REU support: (Doing some related coding myself, so I find this somewhat important) - again, based on assumption - Tie.

    Probably right on both. I assume the 1541U2 can let you change the 1541 roms? REU, the TC64 aims for a cycle accurate C= REU emulation, I assume the same on the 1541U?


    Expandability: 1541 Ultimate 2 has an USB connector, and has lately added f.ex. USB ethernet support (still hoping for MIDI support). There's also cassette port connector for dumping tapes & loading images. Chameleon has a custom slot for (expensive) Ethernet module and IR & PS/2 (maybe something else too?) - I'd say especially due to future expandability potential, 1541U2 is a clear winner.

    The TC64 has a USB connector also, but it is not for expandability, it is for connecting to a PC. The TC64 does have IR and is bundled with a CDTV remote. The breakout cable does give a PS/2 mouse and a PS/2 keyboard. There is also a breakout cable for IEC, but that's pretty redundant in cart mode. I only use cart mode.

    The "custom slot" is not so custom, it is an Amiga 1200 style clockport. The most popular use is RR-Net ethernet and mechanically inside the case this is what it was designed for. It is confirmed that the Silver Surfer Serial Adapter works and I suspect other devices probably would if anyone bothered to try them (aka MP3@64). There is even a Minimig core that supports Silver Surfer.

    Most of the expandability is internally. The TC64 has features the 1541U simple does not. Features can be added at anytime. It is already like a swiss army knife.


    Compatibility: AFAIK, Chameleon can't be used as a drive with Vic-20 etc. (at least without some extra hardware) - Winner: 1541U2

    The TC64 is not a stand alone drive. The 1541U has a pretty narrow focus. It is my understanding to be used as a stand alone IEC device it has to be configured on a 64 before being used stand alone. That's a wash for me, I don't own a Vic 20 these days. The TC64 has a Vic20 core OTOH, so I can use a Vic20 right from my C64 keyboard. That core is pretty much Alpha with major limitations, but it works for playing Megacart games. I hope the core matures in the future so I don't even have to think about owning one.


    "Authenticity": (as in "Why would I use this instead of software emulator?") - Both emulate 1541 (or some other) drive. Chameleon can emulate the entire C64 in FPGA, BUT even when connected to C64, the CPU is always emulated. So I'd say: - 1541U2 definitely more authentic.

    I only use in cart mode. The real C64 is mirrored in the FPGA and synced. How is this not authentic? You can use all original ports and I/O, with the exception of the cassette port. In cart mode it is an expansion, period. You can't compare to something like an FPGA arcade.

    As for your authentic argument, it is pretty silly. The 1541U is FPGA based and emulates a 6502. I guess you forget the 1541 has it's own CPU. If the TC64 isn't authentic by your criteria, neither is the 1541U.


    Future proof: The source code for 1541 Ultimate is open. Not exactly sure about Chameleon, but at least some fpga cores are open. From experience, this is VERY important in "Jens hardware", since sometimes promised features just are never finished (or released only for the next version hardware)

    From my experience the TC64 is a finished project. Future updates would be a plus, but not really needed. I would *REALLY* like to see some of the additional cores updated, but those are mostly 3rd party and open. We just need need some developers to get interested. Some of the cores are really mature already.


    So what superior features am I missing?

    Did you look at the feature list? :-D


    Yes, I know there's (SuperCPU incompatible) turbo, but that's something I can do with software emulators. If it's going to be based on guesstimates about the internal functionality of hardware, I don't think there's much difference if the emulation is done in software or FPGA. VGA out? My Raspberry Pi has HDMI with software emulator based on the exact same assumptions on VIC-2 internals.

    Not sure I am following you here, you are all over the place. Yes there is a turbo, not it isn't SUperCPU compatible. For most people, this is a plus. In turbo mode the SuperCPU breaks 99% of games and a number of fast loaders. The TC64 turbo breaks almost nothing.

    You are hung up on the FPGA of the TC64, but not the one on your 1541U. Odd. You don't have to use the VGA out with 64 mode. You can use your old 1702 monitor from the original port. Your Raspberi Pi doesn't have a Vic-II chip or a SID chip. Nor does it have CIA or anything else. You are comparing apples and oranges. I don't think you quite understand how things work in cart mode. This is not the same as a Raspberry Pi with a Keyrah, the very suggestion is laughable.


    And as for Jens, has everyone already forgotten about him angrily dropping all (promised) MorphOS support, due to some disagreements with Genesi? You know, the same Genesi that MorphOS development team also had disagreements with...

    I vaguely remember him dropping official Catweasel support of something. I was bummed at the time, but don't really care IMO. Companies and individuals have falling outs all the time. I only care when they act illegally, blatantly unethically or excessively anti-competitively (see HYPErion). Jens has a falling out with HYPErion too at one point IIRC. Jens and Jeri Elsworth really don't get along these days. I generally don't like to pick sides, unless something is really egregious.

    Back on the TC64 vs 1541U.

    Easyflash support - The TC64 has it, the 1541U sort-of does but no write support. That's a show stopper for me. I can't save my game or high scores?

    Turbo support - You dismiss it, but it is a wonderful feature. I was leery when I heard it was faster in practice than a SuperCPU at 20Mhz, but in usage I am finding this to be true in many cases. The turbo also includes illegal opcodes, so very little breaks unlike SuperCPU. I do more than gaming so this is a HUGE plus for me. The speed is great! You can also dial in speed to where you want it, it is not a binary option. You can also de-accelerate if you so wish.

    1351 emulation - Using a mouse on the breakout PS/2 port works flawless for me, freeing up the joystick posts.

    Custom ROMs - you can load custom ROMS instead of using the built-in ROMs. Great for switching ROMs without wearing out DIP sockets.

    Core support - Even in cart mode you can load additional cores, such as Amiga, Atari 800XL, PC Engine etc that are very mature. To do the same as a 1451U owner you would have to buy something like a FPGA arcade and dedicate desk space for 2 totally different systems. This can get costly and desk space is a premium for retro lovers.

    There is no comparison between the 2 for me. I suppose for someone who is only an occasional C64 gamer maybe the 1541U is just fine, but I like to do a lot more than that.

    [ Edited by redrumloa 07.09.2016 - 14:58 ]
  • »07.09.16 - 17:56